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Favorinus branchialis

(Rathke, 1806)


Klas Malmberg Aquatilis I was really surprised when I found this Favorinus branchialis this weekend. Usually we find this ones in cold spring at depth and exposed areas but here it is in 5m and the water temerature is 17° on eelgras/muddy water. Does anybody else have experience of this?

João Pedro Silva Here in Portugal I've found F. branchialis mostly in July, August and September.

Marco Faasse Found them at 4m in extremely sheltered water in May in Scotland (about 10 degrees C). Never dived there in summer.

Peter H van Bragt I found them in Northern Scotland in July August many years ago. Cannot recall depth.

Klas Malmberg Aquatilis Thanks for your information!

Helgi Winther Olsen Love this Klas. Will give it a look in Øresund.

Jim Anderson I have found these on the east and west coast of Scotland between June and September mainly around 12-15 m depth.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 06 Sep 2012
Klas Malmberg Aquatilis A typical position for the egg-eating Favorinus branchialis.

João Pedro Silva Very nice catch :)

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 25 Mar 2012
Guido Villani Favorinus branchialis on Aplysia's egg mass- Fusaro Lagoon, Naples

Vinicius Padula Super!!!

Guido Villani Sacada esta manana en 30 cm de agua

Anne Diver Great photo!

Message posted on EPAM Nudibranchs on 06 Apr 2013
Cat Wilding Hummm and this one too? I know you can get white O. bilamellata, but want to be certain. Thank you :)

Cat Wilding It is completely surrounded by barnaceley destruction though!

Peter H van Bragt Also, O. bilamellata. Nice to see all the remaining bases of Goose barnacles next to it. Although less common, completely white specimen are regularly see. Especially juveniles and semi-adults can be white without the drown pigment markings.

Cat Wilding Thank you both, that's brilliant :)

Bernard Picton I see a white spawn coil in the patch of barnacle bases at top right. Could be Favorinus branchialis, which eats the eggs of other nudibranchs like these Onchidoris. Could you tell us where the picture was taken Cat?

Bernard Picton Sorry, I guess Fowey from your other post?

Cat Wilding Yeah that's right Bernard, nicely spotted I had assumed those eggs were O. bilamellata... Thanks team!

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 30 Oct 2013
Paula Lightfoot Hi does anyone know what might have laid these eggs, there were loads of them on a wall at the Farnes yesterday between 9m-12m. The most common nudibranch there was Limacia clavigera but according to other websites their eggs don't look like this. I wondered about Tritonia homergi?

João Pedro Silva These seem too regular and thin for T. hombergii. Tony Gilbert has a photo of it laying eggs.

David Fenwick Snr Have found similar with Favorinus branchialis

Peter H van Bragt For sure not T. Hombergii or Limacia clavigera. There are a few options... Possibly Flabellina gracilis but other aeolids are also an option. Spawn laid on a flat surface looks very often like this, but when laid in hydroids they are very irrugular shaped.

Jim Anderson This looks like Flabellina browni spawn to me.

Bernard Picton or possibly Facelina bostoniensis...

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 15 Apr 2013
João Pedro Silva 3 in 1: what was supposed to be a photo of Doriopsilla areolata + spawn turned out to be also a photo of Favorinus branchialis feeding. Shot in Berlengas, Portugal.

John Sexton Haha, nice shot. I just bought myself a magnifying glass to dive with just to be able to see this small stuff! Do you have your micro lens ready?

João Pedro Silva John Sexton, without a magnifying lens you've pointed me a tiny Tritonia plebeia (I had to shoot it and playback the image to make sure it was indeed a nudibranch). I guess I'll have to get myself a portable underwater electron microscope.

David Kipling That's almost wide-angle though. (Not to mention you need a vacuum for SEM or TEM). What you need is a cantilever AFM, that'll work fine provided you can control your buoyancy enough to hold it stilll ...

Gary Cobb Nice shot Joao!

João Pedro Silva I'll ask for one of Howard Hall's IMAX 3D housings.

David Kipling http://www.photographyblog.com/news/fujifilm_3d_w3_camera_and_housing_set/

O Gajo Dos Olivais To see them INSIDE the spawn is quite a tricky mission :)

João Pedro Silva Some say it's in fact the easiest way to find Favorinus branchialis. However, I've only found them feeding on very few occasions. Coincidentally, another time was also on the spawn of Doriopsilla sp. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/7551439102/

O Gajo Dos Olivais That 3D housing for w3d is out for some time now. But the quality is not good and the camera will not do macro stereo pictures... the paralax is way too distant for macro. Loreo has one "Macro Lens in a Cap (9006)" wich I have and it's quite fine. I will take it next dive and get some nudi pics shot with it. Tha good thing is that they will com out with SLR quality.. AND we can actually use a diopter from subsee or whatever one we have, like usually. The "counterpart" for me it's it builds an image in parallel eye vision (to use qith their viewer) and I see better (without viewers) in crossed-eye vision, so i will always have to edit the picture.

João Pedro Silva I usually say the easiest way to find Favorinus branchialis is to look for eggs. But this week was the first time I've actually seen one actually eating away the spawn of another nudibranch.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 13 Jul 2012
João Pedro Silva Favorinus branchialis Local: Berlengas, Peniche, Portugal Spot: Tromba do Elefante Profundidade: ~12m Data: 11-07-2010

Message posted on Nudibranquios on 27 Aug 2013
João Pedro Silva My best shot so far of Favorinus branchialis was also my first sighting of this species. Since then I've been trying to get a more decent shot... still no success.

Message posted on NUDIBRANCH LOVERS on 03 Jun 2012
João Pedro Silva 3 in 1: what was supposed to be a photo of Doriopsilla areolata + spawn turned out to be also a photo of Favorinus branchialis feeding. Shot in Berlengas, Portugal.

John Sexton Haha, nice shot. I just bought myself a magnifying glass to dive with just to be able to see this small stuff! Do you have your micro lens ready?

João Pedro Silva John Sexton, without a magnifying lens you've pointed me a tiny Tritonia plebeia (I had to shoot it and playback the image to make sure it was indeed a nudibranch). I guess I'll have to get myself a portable underwater electron microscope.

David Kipling That's almost wide-angle though. (Not to mention you need a vacuum for SEM or TEM). What you need is a cantilever AFM, that'll work fine provided you can control your buoyancy enough to hold it stilll ...

Gary Cobb Nice shot Joao!

João Pedro Silva I'll ask for one of Howard Hall's IMAX 3D housings.

David Kipling http://www.photographyblog.com/news/fujifilm_3d_w3_camera_and_housing_set/

O Gajo Dos Olivais To see them INSIDE the spawn is quite a tricky mission :)

João Pedro Silva Some say it's in fact the easiest way to find Favorinus branchialis. However, I've only found them feeding on very few occasions. Coincidentally, another time was also on the spawn of Doriopsilla sp. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/7551439102/

O Gajo Dos Olivais That 3D housing for w3d is out for some time now. But the quality is not good and the camera will not do macro stereo pictures... the paralax is way too distant for macro. Loreo has one "Macro Lens in a Cap (9006)" wich I have and it's quite fine. I will take it next dive and get some nudi pics shot with it. Tha good thing is that they will com out with SLR quality.. AND we can actually use a diopter from subsee or whatever one we have, like usually. The "counterpart" for me it's it builds an image in parallel eye vision (to use qith their viewer) and I see better (without viewers) in crossed-eye vision, so i will always have to edit the picture.

O Gajo Dos Olivais Hello all. I've been reading a lot and trying to learn more from everyone posts and books referred. For what I have read until now, I have never learned that Flabellina pedata eats eggs... But I think I have seen it. The picture annexed shows what I'm saying. The F. pedata on the front is upside down and I think it is eating the eggs instead of placing them. There is another one near (in second plan) and there is also some "eudendrium" near. I thought it was laying the eggs but ... can any one enlighten this please?

Egidio Trainito Both eggs and nudibranch are on the stem of an hydroid and I think that the nudibranch is eating its usual food, the hydroid. Many times things are more simple than what we think.

O Gajo Dos Olivais Yes, I though so as well. But I was in fact unable to see if the eggs were being eaten. All I was able to see was that the eggs disappeared after a while.. but they could just got released and lost. I'm sorry for not having more pictures.. The sea wasn't being very nice to me and my camera :)

João Pedro Silva I agree with Egidio Trainito. Often we see them eating away and it's only natural some other things on the hydroid getting mistaken by food. Nudibranchs feeding on eggs (for instance, Favorinus branchialis) are more obvious on their choice of food source. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/7551439102/

O Gajo Dos Olivais Ok. You are (as I also thought ) probably right. Even if some eggs were eaten they would be a "collateral damage". Thanks.

Gary Cobb Collateral damage is right...dont get your finger in the way!

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 27 Mar 2013
Rudolf Svensen A friend of mine captured this image today. Is it rare or common? I must admit I have never seen one of those.

João Pedro Silva I see no image. Are you sharing from your friend's post? Maybe (most probably) your friend doesn't allow public visualization.

Rudolf Svensen OK, sorry aboiut that. It is a Favorinus branchialis

Klas Malmberg Aquatilis Its quite common in the outer islands of sweden when you have learned how too find it, but in our waters it is really tiny.

João Pedro Silva Not easily seen here. I must have found less than 10. Apparently, the best way to find them is to thoroughly check the spawn of other opistobranchs, like the large egg masses of Aplysia.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 11 Mar 2012
João Pedro Silva These may be common but extremely hard to find. That is if you're not willing to take a few sea hare egg masses home, put them on a tray and wait for the nudibranchs to come out. I like things done the hard way so I just look for them and expect to get lucky.

Christian Skauge Technically, sea hares are not really nudibranchs ;-)

João Pedro Silva I know, Christian. Maybe the text was not clear: Favorinus branchialis (a nudibranch) feeds on opistobranch eggs (but also hydroids). Due to their size, the egg masses from sea hares (especially Aplysia depilans and Aplysia fasciata) is more likely to contain Favorinus branchialis. As it's very difficult to find this species, the easiest way is to collect eggs masses from Aplysia sp., bring them home (or to a lab), place them on a tray and wait for the Favorinus branchialis to appear.

Christian Skauge Ahh, sorry, I didnt' catch your meaning! of course you'll get the F. branchialis with the sea hare eggs - that's what they eat! We see the same with F. blianus and A. punctata in Norway. Thanks João :-)

Christian Skauge We do even get the F. branchialis here north - very rare, but sometimes :)

João Pedro Silva I must have seen it no more than ten times, but I never tried collecting sea hare's eggs. I simply found them crawling on the bottom.

Christian Skauge Me neither - that's just too nerdy ha ha :-)

Message posted on NUDIBRANCH LOVERS on 16 Jan 2012
Taxonomy
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Mollusca (Phylum)
    Gastropoda (Class)
      Heterobranchia (Subclass)
        Opisthobranchia (Infraclass)
          Nudibranchia (Order)
            Dexiarchia (Suborder)
              Aeolidida (Infraorder)
                Aeolidioidea (Superfamily)
                  Facelinidae (Family)
                    Favorinus (Genus)
                      Favorinus branchialis (Species)
Associated Species